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Yesterday, the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament adopted a bill making all companies that process personal data of Russian citizens, liable to store such data on Russian soil, starting with September 2016. More info on this:

On the one hand, there are few companies - regardless of whether we are talking about multinationals or start-ups - that do not process personal data, especially given the value that large aggregations of information related to individuals have gained, so regulation is most evidently needed. On the other hand, hindering the activity of both major tech companies and entrepreneurial activity will undoubtedly lead to isolation of Russia from an innovation point of view.

The question that arises at this point is whether the Russian market is of interest to the likes of Facebook or Google so much as to make them invest in additional data storage centers located on Putin's turf. Moreover, since liberty of speech or usage of foreign-built hardware of Intel or AMD (at the moment, only in public institutions - but who can say if this will not expand to any type of computer, laptop or tablet?) already appears to be hindered. Also, by its actions as a whole, Russian administration does not provide, at the moment, basic needs in terms of commercial market safety, as investors are unable to forecast what the next regulatory steps will be.

Although bidding in long-term investment in Russian born-and-bred (or least, bred-and-managed) technology by applying such measures could prove in some circumstances a winning move, the current status-quo of the tech market may leave out of the picture one of the largest emerging economies and focusing to other, more stable, even if smaller markets.

Those who however carry on with a Russian business adventure - consider yourselves warned.

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